Dastardly & Muttley: if only they’d listened to a copywriter!
Don’t be like Dick Dastardly & Muttley
If only they’d listened to a copywriter!
The hapless duo of Dick Dastardly and Muttley are iconic for their hare-brained plans and inevitable failures. Morality issues aside, nobody could ever accuse Dick Dastardly of lacking creativity, or say he wasn’t supported in his ideas. Even if that support was given somewhat grudgingly at times!
So why did his schemes always lead to disaster?
If you can, for a moment, cast aside the knowledge that Dastardly & Muttley’s misdemeanours were scripted purely for our viewing pleasure, there are some real-world takeaways to be had. One of them being the benefits of procuring an independent voice-of-reason.
“Muttley, do something!”
Every time one of Dastardly’s wacky schemes got him into trouble, the exasperated cry of “Muttley, do something!” would result in Muttley rushing to the rescue. But this was always after things had got well out of hand and was often conditional on a reward. If only Dastardly had invited Muttley to critique his ideas before they’d been put into action, flaws could have been foreseen and all that hassle could have been avoided.
Of course, this would depend on Dick Dastardly being the kind of boss who’s open to others’ opinions. And on Muttley having a perspective beyond the confines of their partnership. Neither of which was the case. The point I’m trying to make is that an impartial and timely second opinion is an immensely valuable thing.
Convincing your audience starts with convincing your copywriter
Providing that second opinion is part and parcel of a good copywriter’s work. You see we’re not just wordsmiths who make your ideas sound pretty. Those of us who are disposed to the Content Dragon mentality are also sticklers for watertight logic.
In order to present your content back to you in a neatly wrapped package, we have to analyse it, understand it, fill in any holes and iron out any wrinkles.
If your thoughts are scattered, we’ll get them organised. If your messages are contradictory, we’ll be the ones who notice. If your claims need to be substantiated, we’ll call you out on that. If our interpretation of your input is different to what you were expecting, we’ve probably unearthed important oversights in your brief.
We hold a mirror up to what you’ve given us and provide constructive feedback. Opening the door to rationally reviewing the thought process which got you to this point.
Maybe we’ll give you a thumbs up that your rationale is completely in order. In which case, you deserve a medal. Getting everything right without external review is not as easy as you might expect!
Remember, however, that acting on feedback takes time – both at your end and ours. You need to factor that into your schedule and instruct us sufficiently early in the process. Copywriters can do wonders with words, but we can’t bend the space-time continuum.
Prevention is better than rescue
A good senior copywriter won’t be your Muttley. Yes, we’ll support your ideas and get you out of trouble. But more importantly, we’ll prevent you from getting into bother in the first place by scrutinising your proposals and warning you of flaws. Responding with a thoughtful challenge, rather than a wheezy snigger after it’s all gone wrong.
This can play out via all kinds of different scenarios. Some as straightforward as editing blog posts. Others as complex and involved as helping compile tender applications or formulating how to market ground-breaking new business concepts.
As a fresh pair of eyes with an outsider perspective, a freelance copywriter is not blinded by an excess of internal knowledge. That makes us more sensitive to any disruptions, distractions or lack of relevance in a narrative. We instinctively ask the “dumb” questions which can make all the difference to your copy’s efficacy. So you’ll avoid needing to utter Dick Dastardly’s iconic curse “Drat! Drat! And double drat!”, because we’ll work together with you to make everything good before it’s too late.